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Hear Ohio Ag Net on WMVR-FM 105.5

We continue to highlight our outstanding Ohio Ag Net radio affiliates, carrying the best in Ohio ag news.

We say thank you to WMVR-FM 105.5 serving Shelby County and the Upper Miami Valley. Tune in to 105.5 FM to hear the Ohio Ag Net Monday-Friday at 6:05 a.m., 7:05 a.m., and 12:15 p.m.

The best in Ohio ag news is easy to find! If your current station doesn’t feature the voice of Ohio Ag—turn the dial! Click here to view the complete affiliate listing, including air times.Continue reading

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Pricing profitably: Direct-to-consumer meat sales have the potential to increase farm revenue

By Brianna Gwirtz, OCJ field reporter

The input costs to farm have been continually rising for many years. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) February 2023 Farm Sector Income forecast projected total farm production expenses in 2023 at nearly $500 billion, up 4% from the prior year, but up $87 billion, or more than 28%, from 2020. For those raising livestock, looking outside of the typical commodity markets and focusing on direct-to-consumer meat sales may be an opportunity to increase revenue.

Garth Ruff, Ohio State Extension Beef Cattle Field Specialist, noticed the trend of direct-to-consumer sales increase in the wake of COVID in 2020. Many people turned to their local livestock producers for protein, instead of going to the grocery store.

“During COVID, we had quite a few calls and a high amount of people interested in selling directly to consumers. It’s leveled out since then. That’s been our big question the last few years, how many of these direct-to-consumer sales will be maintained?”… Continue reading

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CAUV battle in Tuscarawas County

By Leisa Boley-Hellwarth

In Tuscarawas County, Ohio, the Dalton G. Bixler 2016 Trust owns nearly 68 acres that is leased to Brettenbach Wine Cellars that operates vineyards. All of the Bixler acreage was enrolled in the CAUV (Current Agricultural Use Value) program that Ohio provides for property tax purposes that farmland devoted exclusively to commercial agriculture may be valued according to its current use rather than at its “highest and best” use. The state initiated CAUV in 1973.

In 2018, the Tuscarawas County Auditor split two parcels from the 67.76 Bixler acres. One parcel referred to as the Toolshed is 3.76 acres. Another parcel of one acre is called the Warehouse. The Toolshed parcel includes a 6,000 square foot building, which acts as an event venue for wedding receptions and charitable events, and also stores and ages 40 to 60 barrels of wine. A wine press is also stored in the Toolshed, and wine processing sometimes takes place in the facility.… Continue reading

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Ohio Soybean Association Hometown Tour is underway

The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) Hometown Tour is underway with three stops scheduled in the next week.

  • Friday, Aug. 25

Layman Farms, Kenton

  • Monday, Aug. 28

Kemp Farms, West Manchester,

  • Tuesday, Aug. 29

Bluegrass Farms, Jeffersonville

The Hometown Tour is an opportunity for farmers to gather and learn about precision ag, including autonomous tractors, as well as specialty soybean opportunities, soy-based biofuels and more. Lunch is provided and the event is free; however, attendees must register in advance. CCAs, CPAgs, CPSSs and CPSCs who attend are eligible to receive one CEU credit. Each event will run from 11:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

“We’ve had great success with farmer meetings, and we decided to take our organization on tour and meet farmers where they are,” said Patrick Knouff, OSA president and Shelby County soybean farmer. “We hope to provide a day full of fellowship and expert insight, especially since each meeting’s agenda will look slightly different.”… Continue reading

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Log Cabin Days

Shorter days, cooler temperatures and sweet apple cider usher in the fall season, and with it Log Cabin Days. Join in the family-friendly fun Friday, Sept. 15 and Saturday, Sept. 16. Proceeds from this event go to the American Cancer Society and Mohican Parochial School. The location is 552 SR 95, Loudonville, OH 44842.

 The two-day family-oriented event has something for everyone and will also include demonstrations of lumberjack skills, ax throwing, wood chopping and cross-cut sawing, and 19th-century log home-related trades such as hand hewing, wood carving, furniture making, gun building, spinning and rug braiding building.

 Many activities will encourage audience participation as well as offer a lineup of excellent seminar speakers. There will be over 40 booth exhibits containing rustic home furnishings, builders, craftsmen and home material providers. Taking place on Friday at 3 p.m. is a cabin and rustic furnishings auction with three prebuilt cabins, three pavilions, and many hand-crafted items including, bedroom suites, coffee tables, dining tables, end tables, home decor, and an Amish-made log cabin quilt, all of which are quality consignments from local craftsman.… Continue reading

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Nationwide Case Study on Soil Health

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

A nationwide study of 30 farms in the United States shows how improving soil health helped farmers economically while also creating resilience to adverse weather.  These farms covered the USA and included both crop farms, livestock farms, orchards, grazing systems, and vineyards. The study was conducted by the Soil Health Institute (SHI), the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD), and USDA-NRCS.  This was a multi-year study looking at farms that had adopted soil health management systems (SHMS) long-term. 

The Midwest farms used practices like no-till and cover crops to improve soil health.  Crops like corn, soybeans, wheat, and hay were primarily studied in the Midwest along with dairy, hogs, and chickens. Farmers were interviewed over several years comparing the economic costs and benefits of their system before and after adoption of conservation practices.  The goal was to determine how resilient the farms were and what were the costs, risks, and overall benefits or detriments to adapting soil health practices. … Continue reading

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“Million-dollar” rains should benefit 2023 harvest

By Matt Reese and Dale Minyo

While much of the state has been getting fairly good rainfall in recent weeks, there have been some areas coming up short. For the week ending Aug. 20, around a quarter of the state was short to very short on topsoil and subsoil moisture according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Intermittent rains had moved the driest parts of the state in northwest Ohio out of drought conditions and into the “Abnormally Dry” category by Aug. 22, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The high temperatures this week were of particular concern for those driest areas, but statewide crops were definitely in need of the generous rains that fell overnight. 

Ohio rainfall totals ranged from around a quarter inch in the far southwestern part of Ohio on up to over 8 inches along Lake Erie overnight and into Aug. 24. It is a crucial time for Ohio’s corn and soybean crops, especially the later planted fields.  … Continue reading

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Research underway for ground vs. drone fungicide application

Ohio Ag Net took a firsthand look at the beginnings of Practical Farm Research from Beck’s Hybrids that recently took place, investigating the difference between fungicide application on corn and soybeans by drones versus ground rigs. Jared Chester of Beck’s joins Joel Penhorwood to discuss the research and how they are looking into the question.

The research comes as the company’s Becknology Days gets underway in Atlanta, IN, August 24-26. More at… Continue reading

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Frost named accounting coordinator for Ohio Farm Bureau

Lisa Frost of Bloomingburg has been named accounting coordinator for Ohio Farm Bureau. In her new role, she will provide general business support, payroll, and accounting functions and activities.

Frost grew up on a grain farm in southeastern Michigan, where she was a proud 4-H member for 11 years. Today, she and her husband own and operate Frostaire Farms, where they raise registered Suffolk sheep that they show and sell at the local, state and national levels.

Before joining the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation staff, Frost was the finance director for Heritage Memorial Church in Washington Court House and served as the Ohio State Fair Sheep Department office manager.

A 30-year member of Fayette County Farm Bureau, Frost studied agriculture communications at Michigan State University and is an inductee of the Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame.… Continue reading

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Effort seeks to keep young farmers Growing Forward

By Matt Reese and Dale Minyo

With the prices of land, equipment and inputs all seeing record highs in recent years, young farmers trying to get started need all the financial tools they can get to set the stage for viable operations moving forward.

The Growing Forward program offered by Farm Credit Mid-America (FCMA) has been helping young farmers tackle the daunting financial obstacles of entering agriculture since 2014. To participate in the program, Growing Forward participants must be 35 years old or younger with less than 10 years of farming experience. They must complete a business plan and application.

“We developed this program because we know that getting into agriculture is difficult. It’s capital intensive. We wanted to provide a way for young people to get started within agriculture and it’s kind of grown from there,” said Hilary Poulson, FCMA Growing Forward specialist. “We’ve discovered over the years that what customers really need is an educational component for knowing their finances, so we ask participants of the Growing Forward program to complete a business plan, which is a development opportunity for them to establish a road map for the next few years.… Continue reading

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Cattle price update

By Bernt Nelson, economist, American Farm Bureau

Cattle prices have come a long way in the first half of 2023. In fact, the weighted average market price for a steer this July is 27% higher than it was in July 2022. Drought and high input costs have driven many producers to market animals that would have been held back to grow their herds, and the resulting tighter cattle supplies are pushing retail beef prices to new highs.

Supply — July 1 Cattle Inventory

The semiannual cattle inventory report is a record of all cattle and calves, number of operations, and size group estimates categorized by class, state and the country as a whole. The report is released in January and July. The July inventory uses information from the responses of 10,000 surveyed cattle operations. The more robust January survey is based on the responses of 50,000 operations. 

In the July report, USDA estimated all cattle and calves in the United States on July 1, 2023, were 95.9 million head, down 3% compared to last year’s report.… Continue reading

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Poultry litter applications

By Glen Arnold, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

Stockpiles of poultry litter can be seen in farm fields across Ohio. While common each year in wheat stubble fields, there are also stockpiles commonly found in soybean fields. Getting the poultry litter to the fields ahead of spreading makes the whole process more efficient. Poultry litter is an excellent source of plant nutrients and readily available in most parts of the state. With fall harvest just around the corner these poultry litter piles will soon be spread across farm fields.

Poultry litter can be from laying hens, pullets, broilers, finished turkeys, turkey hens, or poults. Most of the poultry litter in the state comes from laying hens and turkey finishers. Typical nutrient ranges in poultry litter can be from 45 to 57 pounds of nitrogen, 45 to 70 pounds of P2O5, and 45 to 55 pounds of K2O per ton. The typical application rate is two tons per acre which fits nicely with the P2O5 needs of a two-year corn/soybean rotation.… Continue reading

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The effectiveness of insecticide on treated soybeans

By Todd Jeffries, vice president of Seed Genetics Direct

More than any other industry, the agricultural community should be well aware of herbicide resistance. Over the past few years, it has become crucial to spray multiple herbicide modes of action to get a crop to the finish line. Without multiple modes, we risk fields having “super weeds” that continue to be harder to control because of herbicide resistance. With that in mind, are we heading down the same path using too much insecticide?

Todd Jeffries, Vice President of Seed Genetics Direct

The insecticides that seed companies treat soybean seed with are known as neonicotinoids or neonicotinoid soybean treatment, commonly called “neonics” or “NSTs” for short. They are a synthetic neuro-active insecticide that react very similarly to the way nicotine does in humans. The most common ones used are clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam. Do they work at killing insects? Absolutely. For instance, if you look at a Seresto flea and tick collar, the active ingredient is imidacloprid.… Continue reading

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Sudden Death Syndrome of Soybean in Ohio

By Dr. Horacio Lopez-Nicora and Jenna Moore, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2023-27

We are finding fields in Ohio affected by sudden death syndrome (SDS). These symptoms are showing up earlier than normal. SDS is caused by the fungal pathogen Fusarium virguliforme. This species is the most prevalent in the region, however, other Fusarium species can cause SDS.

With support and funding from Ohio Soybean Council, we will process soybean plants with SDS symptoms from fields in Ohio to: 1) Determine the species and genetic diversity of Fusarium associated with SDS in Ohio, and 2) Determine the fungicide sensitivity of isolates in the culture collection. To successfully achieve these goals, we need your help.

If you are seeing SDS symptoms, we encourage you to submit a sample to the Soybean Pathology and Nematology Laboratory in the Department of Plant Pathology at The Ohio State University in Columbus (read more HERE). If it is SDS, we want to determine what Fusarium species is the causal agent.… Continue reading

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Finding, conquering Tar Spot and SDS challenges

Tune in for a crucial, timely agronomy update from Beck’s Hybrids. In this video, field agronomist Mike Hannewald sheds light on effectively addressing Tar Spot and SDS challenges in Ohio fields. Hannewald shares practical strategies, early detection methods, and tailored approaches for managing these threats. Stay informed, proactive, and empowered in the face of field challenges.

More agronomics tips from Beck’s Hybrids online at… Continue reading

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Corn crop spread trades

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC 

It looks hot and dry for the next two weeks. Corn might be far enough along that it will escape with only minor damage. Beans however could be facing some reduced yields if there isn’t some relief in a week or so.

Global corn production uncertainty and export demand

There are reports that China has had some corn production issues due to excessive rain. Estimates indicate a 3% crop loss, or 300 million bushels, which could mean increased global export demand.

However, this may not be enough to raise prices. Brazil’s second corn crop this year looks to be 400 million bushels bigger than originally expected, and Argentina is expected to produce a normal crop in 2024.

Plus, Ukraine’s corn shipment capabilities continue to have an uncertain future. While their corn yields are expected to exceed last year’s production, moving grain out of the country could be an issue if Black Sea routes are closed.… Continue reading

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Select Sires to combine with STgen

Select Sires Inc. and Inguran LLC (dba STgen) have signed a letter of intent to combine Select Sires Inc.’s and STgen’s production, research and development functions into a new company.

The six U.S. farmer-owned cooperatives that provide exceptional sales, service, and support for the Select Sires family of products will remain independent and continue to operate just as they do today. The STgen sales and service network will likewise operate independently and continue to provide the outstanding sales, service, and support for the STgen brands of products that their customers have come to expect. Additionally, global distributors and business units of STgen and Select Sires, including World Wide Sires, will continue to operate in their respective geographies, representing their current brands.

Select Sires Inc. and STgen believe that by integrating their production and development capabilities into a new company, farmers will benefit from a broader and more cost-efficient offering, higher quality products, and more advanced technologies and services.… Continue reading

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Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 313 | Raising Beef, Cultivating Resilience: Insights from Charlie Reffitt at Hondros Farms

In this episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast, hosts Matt Reese of Ohio’s Country Journal and Dusty Sonnenberg of Ohio Ag Net delve into the world of international trade and local agriculture. The main focus of the episode is a captivating conversation with Charlie Reffitt, president of Hondros Farms in Delaware County. Charlie shares insights into the challenges and opportunities faced by high-end beef production, including Wagyu, as well as the innovative approaches he has had to take as modern farm manager. He also discusses the challenges he has powered through after a hunting accident left him paralyzed.

Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association Colombia Trade Mission Recap: The podcast also features intriguing audio content from the recent Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association Trade Mission, hosting visitors from Colombia. Discover the insights gained from this international experience as Matt and Dusty speak with various experts:

  • Tyler Drewes, OCWGA Board Member: Tyler provides a firsthand account of the trade mission’s goals and accomplishments, shedding light on the importance of global agricultural connections.
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Most of Ohio in good shape with soil moisture headed into high temperatures

Crop progress across the State accelerated under favorable conditions and timely precipitation, according to Ben Torrance, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 2% very short, 21% short, 69% adequate, and 8% surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on Aug. 20 was 68.7 degrees, 2.6 degrees below normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 0.96 inches of precipitation, 0.12 inches above average. There were 4.4 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending Aug. 20.

Fieldwork last week included tile installation and fungicide applications. Rain across much of the State last week will aid in grain fill. Double crop soybeans were looking better than average. Corn dough progress was 64% complete, and corn dented progress was 23% complete. Soybeans blooming was 96% complete and pod setting progress reached 82%. Corn and soybean condition were 74 and 72% good to excellent, respectively. Second cuttings of other hay were 77% complete.… Continue reading

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